Psychological evaluation of impulsive/premeditated aggression and associated factors: a cross-sectional study in users of health services in Tabasco, Mexico

Jorge E. Reyes-Tovilla , Homero Daniel Hernández-Yánez , Isela Juárez-Rojop , Carlos Alfonso Tovilla-Zárate , Lilia López-Narváez , Mario Villar-Soto , Thelma Beatriz González-Castro , Ana Fresán



Introduction. Suicidal behaviour is a public health problem. It has been suggested that impulsive or premeditated personality interferes with aggressive acts such as suicide.

Objective. In this study, we identified the socio-demographic differences when attempting suicide, as well as the concomitant depression among individuals characterized by impulsive or premeditated aggression.

Methods. We performed a transversal study that included 200 residents of Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico, who regularly use the city’s General Health Services. The premeditated or impulsive aggression was evaluated using the Impulsive/Premeditated Aggression scale (IPAS). The sample was divided in two groups: impulsive and premeditator individuals. Suicidal attempt, presence of depression and socio-demographic characteristics were evaluated after wards and compared between groups.

Results. The psychological evaluation revealed that impulsive aggression is present in 62.71% of the population. We observed that being unemployed and/or being a woman were characteristics associated with premeditated aggression. The premeditators group had the higher proportion of concomitant depression (χ2 = 18.29, gl = 1, p = 0.001). The proportion of people that had attempted suicide at least once during their lives was similar in both groups (impulsive = 6.06%, premeditators = 6.30%).

Discussion and conclusion. This study does not show any association between the personality (impulsive or premeditative) and the frequency of suicide attempts in the Tabascan General Health Services users. Nevertheless, the frame of mind (depression) could be associated with taking decisions when attempting suicide.


IPAS; suicide; gender; depression